Live Review: So Solid Crew In London
It was a long time coming, folks. And that was confirmed when So Solid Crew’s tour, which kicked off in London last night (March 21), sold out within a matter of days. Their first show in 10 years was held in the IndigO2, which saw the strictest security I have ever witnessed at the venue – asking why, bouncers stated it was a ‘high risk event’. However, their ‘precautions’ went to a different level when even BBK’s Skepta could not enter the venue, tweeting: “Police have said I'm not allowed in the venue because I might bring gang members but nobody said this until I got to the door.”
Those pre-conceived notions were later proven unnecessary as the audience proved security wrong - the vibe was tangibly positive as we all gathered to enjoy one thing together – the reunion of one of the most legendary cliques to come out of south London.
The crew put on a well organised, highly energised show. They performed the best of their critically-acclaimed album ‘They Don’t Know’ from the beginning of it to the end – kicking off with the ‘Intro’, the crowd were won over from the line “Yo blud, yo blud - beg you do me a favour; I beg you tell the world, or whoever’s listening to this CD, where the f**k So Solid’s coming from.”
Members also took to the stage to deliver the best of their solo material, from JD’s ‘Signal’ to Lisa Maffia’s ‘All Over’.
The audience’s favourite special guest of the night (judging from the noise they made) was Ms Dynamite, who appeared on stage for the monumental remix ‘Envy [They Don’t Know]’. Hustle Gang’s Chip was also in the building, hitting the stage to salute the crew that inspired the career he has today.
Other highlights were Oxide and Neutrino’s ‘Bound 4 Da Reload’, ’21 Seconds’, ‘Oh No (Sentimental Things)’ and Mega coming on stage with a faux afro for the beginning part of the ‘Ride With Us’. We also got to hear later hits such as ‘So Grimey’ and ‘Broken Silence’ before being treated with the presence of three dancers moving to the famous ‘Dilemma’ instrumental. The whole crew then came out to do their own So Solid version of a certain ‘Shake’.
The endearing thing about So Solid Crew is that they are very hard to label. Whilst Wikipedia describes them as a ‘garage, grime and hip hop group’, I ask fans what genre they believe the clique belong to.
‘Grime?’ one says. ‘Early grime,’ another says, whilst another claims, ‘they’re garage!’
It may be more accurate to call them innovators. It was indescribably refreshing to hear music that wasn’t quite grime, wasn’t quite garage, wasn’t concentrated UK rap, and although it is certainly popular, was definitely not 'pop'. No pretences and no imitations - Just So Solid.
Words: Maz Khan (@MazHalima)